A doctor who fought to bring free healthcare to millions of people in Indonesia has spoken of the benefits of greater collaboration with the UK.
Professor Ali Ghufron Mukti, Director General of Resources, Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education (RISTEKDIKTI), led a delegation to the University of Nottingham to explore opportunities for professional development, policy making, knowledge exchange and international research collaboration.
Addressing academics from the University’s Medical School Professor Ghufron spoke about his work to set up government health protection schemes for the poor and the BPJS (Indonesia’s social security government agency), as well as unveiling plans for implementing an Academic Health System which would see a more integrated health service, closely aligned to education.
Professor Ghufron was born into a humble family in Blitar and dedicated his career to bringing free healthcare, on a similar scale to the National Health Service in England, to poor families after becoming ill as a child and being handed a huge bill for treatment.
As part of the strengthened relationship the University of Nottingham will send academic consultants on Midwifery curriculum development to Indonesia this summer to experience and learn from in-country best practice.
Broadening the relationship with Nottingham members of RISTEKDIKTI visited Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering and pledged to fund five PhD studentships within the faculty while also exploring potential research collaborations.
Dr Bagus Muljadi, an Indonesian national and Assistant Professor in Chemical and Environmental Engineering has encouraged the partnerships. He was one of 40 Indonesian academics invited by the government to attend the World Class Scholars Symposium in December 2017.
Dr Muljadi was invited to provide inputs to the provision of new public policies in higher education. He said: "I am very pleased to see links established between the Indonesian government, and University of Nottingham. Unlike in a regular PhD program, the students will be jointly-supervised by Indonesian-based scholars throughout their studies. The topics will have Indonesian interest at heart — it’s about training a cohort of Indonesian scholars to help the country face the next Industrial Revolution, known as Industry 4.0.
"At Nottingham, we have Beacons of Excellence that address many of the challenges of Industry 4.0. The PhD students will have their research aligned with those of the beacons. The co-supervision element then ensures transfer of knowledge between the countries, and that the research will be sustained when the students return to Indonesia after their studies."
The University aims to help Indonesia prepare for the next industrial revolution through showcasing and sharing expertise in smart manufacturing, interconnected production systems and automation.Knowledge sharing was at the forefront of a masterclass the University delivered to local lecturers and staff in Jakarta earlier this year.
The strengthened partnership will also lead to further opportunities for professional development for both the University of Nottingham and university workers in Indonesia.
Professor Ghufron recently spoke at the Indonesian Scholars International Convention in Coventry, which was part-sponsored by the University of Nottingham. During his visit he also met with staff and students who are Indonesian nationals – inspiring them to follow his lead and encourage greater links between the two organisations.
Indonesia has the largest population of South East Asia and is the third largest democracy in the world.
Jason Feehily, Director Knowledge Exchange Asia: "This visit builds on our existing links with Indonesia, including teaching partnerships, research and student recruitment. It strengthens our global offering and the work we do across Asia. We believe we can make a difference in helping to make Indonesia 4.0 a success, but that this partnership will be a reciprocal one – sharing best practice and professional development for Nottingham too."
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